ANN ARBOR, Mich. (March 13, 2017) — HistoSonics, Inc. announced today that Mike Blue has joined the Company as President, CEO and Board member to lead the advancement of HistoSonics’ innovative tissue-destruction technology in liver cancer and other solid tumor applications. HistoSonics’ technology, Robotically Assisted Sonic Therapy (RAST) TM, offers a non-invasive, non-thermal approach to solid tumor treatment and is based on the science of histotripsy, using pulsed sound energy for the precise destruction of targeted tissues. Christine Gibbons, HistoSonics co-founder and interim CEO, will continue to serve as Chief Operating Officer.
“Mike is going to take HistoSonics to the next level,” Ms. Gibbons said. “His experience in driving growth and value in the medical device sector, his passion for oncology patient care, and his extraordinary vision make him an excellent fit for HistoSonics. He is the right person to lead us to the next stage of growth and development.”
Mr. Blue brings with him deep commercial experience, having served in various leadership positions within the medical device sector, almost exclusively in interventional oncology. He built teams and drove revenue growth at two successful venture-backed companies, NeuWave Medical and superDimension. At NeuWave Medical, Mr. Blue led product sales of its market-leading microwave technology to a growth rate of over 200 percent in the year leading to its acquisition by J&J-Ethicon. At superDimension, Mr. Blue developed and executed the U.S. sales strategy for its Navigation System, a disruptive technology used to diagnose patients with early stage lung cancer, driving significant revenue growth and positioning the company for its acquisition by Covidien.
“We know Mike well via our prior investment in NeuWave Medical. His deep medical device experience focused in oncology allows him to recognize how game-changing the HistoSonics technology is, and makes him a perfect fit to articulate and execute the vision of the Company,” said Jim Adox, HistoSonics Board Chairman and Managing Director at Venture Investors.
With the global cancer burden continuing to surge, and the cost of cancer expected to increase from $290 billion in 2012 to $458 billion by 2030, there is a continuing demand for new and better therapeutic options.
“I am extremely excited to be joining a company with such an amazing opportunity in front of us,” Mr. Blue said. “RAST has the potential to become an entirely new platform in cancer care, addressing many of the shortcomings of the current options of surgery, ablation and radiation. It is non-invasive, so requires no incisions or needles, incredibly precise, and has the potential to offer a safe, fast and
economical alternative with reduced patient pain and recovery time — everything you would hope for in an ideal therapy.”
Mr. Blue is the second recent addition to the team since Dr. Fred Lee, noted radiologist and tumor ablation expert, joined last summer as board member and Senior Medical Advisor. Dr. Lee noted at the time, “Robotically Assisted Sonic Therapy is where things are heading, and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
On the heels of Mr. Blue joining the Company, HistoSonics completed the first closing of a Series B financing of $8.3 million, which included the conversion of previous debt and interest. The round was led by Venture Investors, LLC and had full participation from all existing investors including Hatteras Venture Partners, Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Early Stage Partners, TGap Ventures, UM-MINTS, and Grand Angels. Joining as a new investor in this round was Wolverine Venture Fund. Funds will be used to support clinical studies and further development of a clinical system for the liver cancer application of RAST. The Company expects a second Series B closing of up to $5 million sometime in the second quarter of 2017.